WASHINGTON, April 26, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- With a second wave of COVID-19 spiraling out of control in India - record numbers of positive cases and the death toll mounting - the U.S.-India Political Action Committee (USINPAC) has been working behind the scenes to negotiate the release of unused vaccines, raw materials for the creation of vaccines, and oxygen concentrators to help support the nation's healthcare system.
"The people of India are becoming infected and dying at an alarming rate," said USINPAC Chairman, Sanjay Puri. "There is a double-mutant variant of the virus in India that the dwindling supply of available vaccines is largely ineffective against. The nation's healthcare system is on the brink of collapse, and hospitals and other healthcare facilities are being forced to turn people away due to the lack of oxygen. People in India are dying in the streets, outside of hospitals, just waiting for a chance to get in. USINPAC is coordinating efforts between the U.S. government and private corporations to secure any assistance we can for the people of India."
Just last week, India started posting record numbers for new positive COVID cases compared to anywhere else in the world since the outbreak of the virus last year. Vaccines have been in short supply for the world's second-most populated country. Making matters worse is the oxygen shortage. Hospitals in states throughout India lack anywhere close to the amount of oxygen points needed to serve the growing number of those in need. Healthcare facilities in India typically consume 15 percent of the nation's oxygen supply, but during this second wave of the pandemic, nearly 90 percent of the supply is being used for medical purposes.
To address the ongoing crisis, USINPAC has been in contact with current and former ambassadors, large global companies like Philips, and members of Congress including the Congressional Caucus on India and Indian Americans. In addition to requesting the delivery of supplies to India, the PAC is arranging a congressional briefing to identify any supply chain issues, ensure inter-agency coordination, and acquire any congressional approvals that may be needed to complete such an effort.
"We applaud the ongoing efforts of U.S. Sen. Mark Warner and U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, as co-chairmen of the Senate India Caucus, as well as several other members of Congress, for their forthright message to the White House to expedite aid to India," said USINPAC's Director of Government Affairs, Santino R. Thomas.
USINPAC represents millions of Indian Americans in the United States, the vast majority of whom have loved ones still living in India. The PAC continues to receive reports of U.S. citizens losing loved ones during this second wave, in addition to requests for any assistance possible.
USINPAC is a nonpartisan organization. We advocate on behalf of the needs and concerns of Indian Americans and work to keep them informed on issues that matter to them. Contact: Santino R. Thomas 1-607-727-4280